Which cat is in the street? ….Is it Khat or Cat.
Many people are confused about the difference between the two substances khat and cat. They may even produce similar effects on the people that are using them but are significantly different in composition or origin.
Let’s first deal with khat.
Khat is a plant and is used as a recreational drug by people in East Africa and the Arabian countries to elevate mood. The leaves and stem are chewed. It is both a recreational drug and sometime medicinal.
As a medicine, the khat leaf is used for many common ailments such as diabetes, , depression, fatigue, obesity, stomach ulcers, headache, and male infertility. It is also used to lower the need for food, sleep, decrease sexual desires, improve the ability to study, and increase aggression.
Khat seems to contain characteristics and stimulants similar to amphetamines.
Whether it has any impact on these ailments is still to be scientifically decided however The World Health Organization (WHO) lists khat as a drug that creates “dependence” in people, meaning it produces a continuing desire to keep using it. It is banned in many western countries.
Khat can cause many side effects including mood changes, increased alertness, excessive talkativeness, hyperactivity, excitement, aggressiveness, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, manic behaviour, paranoia, and psychosis. It may also lead to insomnia and an inability to concentrate.
And the other Cat?
Methcathinone is stimulant that is structurally a combination of methamphetamine and cathinone. It is clandestinely manufactured from readily available chemicals. It is a white or off-white crystalline powder, most commonly snorted, although it can be taken orally by mixing it with a beverage or diluted in water and it can be injected intravenously. Methcathinone produces amphetamine-like characteristics.
The effect of Cat/Kat can be described as being very similar to that of cocaine, however unlike cocaine the effects can last up to nine hours.
What are the Physical/Mental Effects of Cat?
- Powerful feelings of euphoria
- Increased energy & confidence
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Increased sociability & talkativeness
- Because the drug is a stimulant its usage can go on for days and often results in week long binges.
It has been linked to the party and rave scene however it is used by professionals needing extra energy and work enthusiasm and by students needing to study and concentrate for long hours.
After Cat usage or a Cat binge the dreaded “come down” follows.
What can you expect after a binge or extensive Cat usage?
- Muscle tension and pain
- Delusions from lack of sleep and inability to eat
- Severe psychological depression
- Suicide ideation
- Visual Hallucinations
What to do if you feel you need help with your Cat addiction ?
Cat is psychologically highly addictive, individuals lose their ability to feel emotion or empathy, they lose self-esteem and purpose in life often becoming distant and removed.
Cat addiction can be treated through a number of corrective approaches and therapeutic interventions. Crossroads Recovery Centres are situated in Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa. Our staff members are all qualified and experienced addiction counsellors backed by a team of other professionals. If necessary, we provide detoxification from a substance together with a holistic treatment plan based on a 12-step treatment programme. We provide the necessary skills needed to maintain a clean and sober life style long after the primary treatment process has been completed.
If you or a loved one needs rehabilitation from cat addiction – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.
Stories of Recovery
- The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.Oliver VGRead more
- On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.Johan BRead more
- I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!Carla SRead more
- "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."Angelique JRead more